If you are burdened with depressing feelings of guilt or disappointment, of failure or shame, there is a cure. My intent is not to hurt your tender feelings but to help you and help those you love. The prophets teach how painful guilt can be. As I read what they have said, be prepared for very strong words. Even so, I will not read the strongest things they have said. The prophet Alma, describing his feelings of guilt, said, "I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins." The prophets chose very graphic words. Racked means "tortured." Anciently a rack was a framework on which the victim was laid with each ankle and wrist tied to a spindle which could then be turned to cause unbearable pain. A harrow is a frame with spikes through it. When pulled across the ground, it rips and tears into the soil. The scriptures frequently speak of souls and minds being "harrowed up" with guilt. Torment means "to twist," a means of torture so painful that even the innocent would confess. The prophets speak of the "gall of bitterness" and often compare the pain of guilt to fire and brimstone. Brimstone is another name for sulfur. That lake of fire and brimstone, ever burning but never consumed, is the description in the scriptures for hell.
Racked with Eternal Torment
(Alma 36:12–17) President Boyd K. Packer talks about guilt and Alma’s experience of being racked with eternal torment.